MSNBC contributor and professor of political science Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto wrote a piece for NBC today in which she proposes a simple solution to getting the DACA fix that Democrats want: Give Trump his wall.
Prior to the government shutdown, Schumer was said to have put the wall on the bargaining table. However here is where things get murky. Schumer says he offered to pay for the wall, although he has declined to say how much he offered. White House officials said that Schumer only offered $1.6 billion, much less than the total cost.
In any case, the wall is reportedly now off the table again. Whatever amount of funding Schumer had initially offered is gone. While plenty of Democrats will applaud this stance, I believe it is a mistake. Let Trump have his wall and the $20 billion he wants to build it. It is an expensive and useless toy he desperately wants. But, such an extravagant toy has a cost. And that price tag is a permanent fix for the DACA recipients.
Even Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez, one of the most progressive voices in the House of Representatives on the issue of immigration has voiced his support for this trade. As he noted in an interview, “lives are more important than bricks.”
Luis Gutierrez to me earlier: "It's an awfully wasteful burden on the taxpayers to build a wall, but I've come to a conclusion that lives are more important than bricks." pic.twitter.com/W8dAcCVkCq
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) January 20, 2018
Dr. Soto goes on to argue that $20 billion for the wall is nothing compared to the $400 billion that could be lost by ending DACA. So, purely in economic terms, she thinks a deal makes sense. She also made an appearance on Morning Joe in which she made the same case. “It’s not going to be the Berlin Wall,” host Joe Scarborough said, asking Dr. Soto “Shouldn’t that be easy for Democrats?”
“I view the wall as an expensive, useless toy but it’s part of Donald Trump’s tantrum and he desperately wants it,” Soto replied. She added, “So I think that is a small price to pay in humanitarian costs and even economic ones, to just give him the wall and we get the dreamers…I don’t like the idea of it but sometimes you’ve just got to do the horse trading.”
This seems like such an obvious solution. The Dreamers are very popular politically but Democrats were never going to get this done without border security attached. The entire shutdown could have been avoided if they’d just agreed, in principle, on the need to make a deal. Now that they lost that battle, hopefully they’re preparing to work with Republicans rather than attempt another shut down to avoid the only possible solution. I suspect the real reason this isn’t happening is that the far left is pushing Sen. Schumer for obstruction to everything Trump wants, even if that’s self-destructive and short-sighted. At some point, Democrats are going to have to stand up to the frenzied mob of a base they helped create.
Here’s the clip featuring Dr. Soto: